When you use your phone behind the wheel, you may only take your eyes off the road for a few seconds, but five seconds distracted at 55mph is the same as driving an entire football field with your eyes closed. Scary right?
When you are using your mobile whilst driving, you are absent in three ways: manually, visually and cognitively. Your eyes are off the road, at least one hand is off the wheel and your attention is on the device, rather than what’s in front of you. These combined will have catastrophic results.
The most important danger of driving and texting is the risk of car accidents, injuries and even deaths. In a recent survey, 96% of people believed that texting whilst driving is a serious threat to their safety, Despite this, 39% of people still admitted to reading a text whilst driving, and a further 29% admitted to typing while driving.
Studies have shown that using your phone to text whilst driving can have the same effect on your reaction time as drinking four beers in an hour and then driving. This means that texting is just as dangerous as driving when intoxicated.
This will also impact your recovery time too. When you take your eyes off the road, it can take up to 27 seconds for your eyes to reorient to the road and for the mental distraction to end. This is called the hangover effect and it can happen any time you take your eyes off the road.
How many accidents are caused by phones on the road?
New data proves that a large percentage of accidents happen when a driver is distracted and was a factor in:
- 13% of distracted driving accidents resulted in fatalities
- 9% of distracted driving injury crashes, or about 29,999 accidents in total
- 9% of all police-reported distraction-affected crashes, or about 50,098 accidents in total.
Other than the risk to the driver and others on the road, there can be more repercussions that the driver will face for using a mobile behind the wheel. If you are caught using your phone whilst driving, you will get six points on your license and will receive a hefty fine too. If you are a new driver and have passed in the last two years, these six points will be enough to have your license suspended.
If you do cause an accident while texting and driving, the penalties will be much more serious, losing your license, criminal charges and even jail time.
Drivers with these convictions will also notice a change in car insurance rates. Rates are calculated based on the car you drive, where you live, your driving history and your claim history. Drivers with points tend to pay more on average than those with clean driving records.